Retro Review: Dynamite Cop

Dynamite Cop

Released 1999

Platform: Sega Dreamcast

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sega

Sega have always been special to me, from their amazing arcade games to their wonderful home consoles. They made lots of mistakes along the way but the bitterest pill that gamers like me were forced to swallow was the failure of the Sega Dreamcast. In its short life the Sega Dreamcast had many wonderful games and I loved it for many reasons, but the biggest was that it felt like I had access to arcade perfect Sega games in my home.

One of the games that gave me this special arcade feeling was Dynamite Cop, and I think it’s fair to say that it is a bit bonkers! A cruise liner has been taken over by modern day pirates (they actually resemble characters from Pirates of the Caribbean) and the President’s daughter is among the hostages. My first observation is that these must be some of the worst pirates ever as they can’t seem to find her, even though she is hiding in a suitcase in the same room as the head honcho bad guy!

Dynamite Cop is a 3D beat-em up where you get to control one of three heroes; Captain Bruno Delinger, Sergeant Jean Ivy and Corporal Eddie Brown. Reading the games extensive manual is brilliant fun, which is epitomised by the biography of these three characters. The manual says “Capt. Bruno is one tough ball of primate-carrying beef cake!” Apparently Sgt. Ivy is “turned on by cat lovers and long walks on the beach” whilst her “turn offs are small feet and mean people who want to take over the world!” Finally it says of Corporal Brown, “when not risking his life for the good of his country, he moonlights for a psychic advice hotline!” Seriously, what were the makers of the game smoking when they came up with this stuff?!

Even better are the biographies for the bad guys. Lead pirate, named Wolf Hongo (no I’m not kidding) is described as an ex-hippie turned international terrorist. The manual goes onto say “known for his dirty fighting and foul B.O., this terror of the seven seas takes more hostages than showers!

Although a play-though of the game can take just over 30 minutes you have three different routes to choose from meaning that there is some re-playability. Your movement is limited to one room where you must defeat the enemies who are out to stop you. There are lots of weapons at your disposal including guns, knives and even a baguette to smack around peoples heads! When you clear the room you see your character running to the next objective. This doesn’t mean you can put your feet up and take a breath as there is usually a quick time event (QTE) to keep you on your toes.

The combat in Dynamite Cop isn’t anything special but it’s fun enough and there are quite a few moves as well as the regular kicks and punches. You can also grapple enemies to the ground punch them in the head or throw them around like a sack of potatoes.

The graphics are nice and colourful and the full motion video (FMV) which occasionally appears is a nice touch. The animation of the QTE’s is also suitably epic and shows a replay three times from different camera angles. Michael Bay would be in his element!

Soundwise there is some excellent music which makes it feel like a Hollywood blockbuster, as well as the general grunts and groans when you defeat a bad guy.

Although Dynamite Cop is fun to play it suffers from the problem that many arcade games had, in as much as that once you’ve played it for 30 minutes, there is no real reason to play it again. I think I enjoy Dynamite Cop so much because of its general craziness and random nature of the bad guys. Fighting gun toting enemies wearing pirate hats is one thing, but being attacked by enemies wearing shark fins and crab shells is something else entirely! Let’s not forget the huge Kraken you face. How the hell did the terrorist pirates enlist his help!? Dynamite Cop is worth checking out for some dumb brawling fun, just don’t expect it to last for very long.

Graphics – Nicely detailed colourful graphics which have the patented Sega style and polish. 7

Sound – Some excellent music which gets your blood pumping and adrenaline going. 7

Playability – Dynamite Cop is a fun game to play, especially if you have a friend to join in. 6

Re-Playability – Although there are more refined beat-em ups available, Dynamite Cop is still fun to play, just don’t expect it to keep you busy for longer than a hour…at most. 5

Overall – Dynamite Cop has all the sheen and shine of a Sega arcade game which is great but, this is a blessing and curse as you probably wont get much value out of it. 6

For a more detailed review of the game, please check out this lovely YouTube video below, featuring me playing Dynamite Cop on my Sega Dreamcast.

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and The Same Coin).